Snoring as a subject is always highly popular in the British Press as it is such a very widespread problem, affecting nearly half of the UK population, and therefore sure to attract the eye and be a popular read. Sadly, it is often treated too lightly. Our dear friends at The Daily Mail have been true to form.
The Mail has an eye-catching headline that they’ve used with some interesting support photography using famous imagery from The Graduate where Dustin Hoffman has his first encounter with Mrs Robinson –and ‘long legs in stockings are very much on show to the sound of Simon and Garfunkel.
Following all this however, and having captured their audience, is a serious and informative article.
Wearing tight stockings during the day may be a new way to tackle snoring at night. We already have Compression stockings being widely used to treat varicose veins and prevent blood clots in the legs after surgery and also during long-haul flights. They are now being given to people with sleep apnoea, a major cause of snoring, and recommended to others.
Heavy snoring, and Sleep apnoea in particular causes a short pause in breathing before the brain prompts the muscles to reopen the airway once again. It happens because the soft tissue in the throat collapses in the night and blocks the passage of air repeatedly.
The idea is that the knee-length stockings will help stop this happening because their role is to tackle fluid build-up in the body. Although only a small study of 12 patients was used it has created a lot of interest because it has shown that the stockings reduce symptoms by about a third.
Snoring of course is a massive problem throughout the UK, and the world, and we now know that Sleep Apnoea affects as many as one in 25 of the UK population.
The two can also be highly dangerous to your health and lots of recent research has proved that they increase the risk significantly for heart failure, stroke and diabetes. We tend to think of snoring as something amusing and not to take the problem too seriously until it is perhaps too late.
If you’re a sufferer, or a bedfellow then a Music Hall Joke is certainly what it’s not.
Unless caught in time and controlled, the main treatment for this degree of heavy snoring or sleep apnoea is a type of mask that is called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device and this mask delivers a supply of compressed air during sleep to prevent the airway closing. While these devices can be quite effective, they are not popular with those who snore. Most people find them very uncomfortable to wear, and it is estimated that around 46 per cent of people given them do not continue to use them.
The stockings prevent tissue fluid building up in the legs during the day and then pump it back up the body – certainly those with normal circulation. Experts believe an accumulation of this fluid can flow back towards the head when the patient lies down at night. And the wearing of the stockings will help this problem for snorers in a similar way. Time and research will tell us more.
However the tried and tested NHS and Dentally recommended route still prevails and the MAD stop snoring device or mouthpiece brings fast results without all the other problems we hear about. So make sure to keep your GP or Dentist informed and take advice.
Take a look at our YouTube video for more info
By John Redfern